We all have our own vices when it comes to food. Some of us might like to wander into the McDonald’s drive-through for late night fries, while others of us might enjoy a bowl filled with ice cream with a chocolate fondant. during movie nights at home.
Whatever yours, it’s important to treat yourself to the things you love every now and then. However, it is also important to keep an eye on how often you indulge in these habits, as some of them can lead to health problems if taken excessively.
For example, type 2 diabetes is extremely common in the United States (around 34 million people), and there are many risk factors for developing it that are linked to your diet and health. Things like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and a history of heart disease can dramatically increase your chances of developing diabetes.
We wanted to know more about the specific eating habits that can lead to diabetes, so we spoke with different experts to get their opinion. Read on to learn more about the eating habits they want you to keep tabs on, but remember that you don’t have to give up all the foods and drinks you love entirely. Just make sure to keep these habits in mind. Then be sure to read our list of the 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat right now.
Getting enough fiber in your daily diet is one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of Nutrition Starring YOU and author of The Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook, most Americans do not meet the fiber goals recommended by dietary guidelines.
“Fiber helps manage blood sugar by slowing digestion and keeping you full, so you’ll likely need fewer calories, which can prevent unnecessary weight gain and help lower your risk of diabetes,” says Harris- Pincus.
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As with fiber, Harris-Pincus is concerned that Americans are not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
“Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, as well as important phytochemicals and antioxidants that can help with insulin resistance, which is the main cause of high blood sugar,” says Harris-Pincus, “for example, research has shown that eating strawberries and wild berries specifically blueberries can have a positive effect on insulin resistance. “
While delicious, processed foods like potato chips, packaged baked goods, candy, and fast food can quickly lead to health problems, including diabetes.
In fact, a 2019 study of JAMA Internal Medicine found that increasing your intake of ultra-processed foods by just 10% could increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 15%.
“These foods are loaded with added sugar, saturated fat, sodium and unnecessary calories,” says Harris-Pincus. “Eating them very often is okay, but try to stick mostly to more fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products for the majority of your meals. calories and nutrients. “
Here’s what happens to your body when you give up processed foods.
“Simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, white flour pasta and breakfast cereals, have been linked to spikes in blood sugar levels that can lead to diabetes,” says Renee Kindler, a certified family nurse practitioner.
According to Kindler, simple carbohydrates can put a huge amount of sugar into your bloodstream at once, and because of that, your body has to figure out how to respond.
“Your body responds to this by pushing out extra insulin, so if this happens often your pancreas gets tired and either can’t produce enough insulin to counter all the sugar consumed, or your cells become less responsive to it. ‘insulin (insulin resistance), “Kindler says.
This, over time, can unfortunately lead to diabetes. Kindler suggests that “in addition to avoiding foods high in sugar, combining natural sugars with foods high in fiber, healthy fats and protein can help minimize spikes in blood sugar.”
Alcohol is fairly safe in moderation, but a dietitian warns that drinking too much over time can increase your risk of developing diabetes.
“Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to diabetes mainly because it causes inflammation of the pancreas and other organs,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements. “When the pancreas is chronically inflamed, it is unable to produce insulin at a sufficient rate and diabetes can develop.”
Best also notes that those who are pre-diabetic may certainly want to reduce their alcohol intake.
“Alcohol impacts the effectiveness of many oral diabetes medications, is known to lower blood sugar for up to 24 hours after consumption, and can cause overeating which affects both weight and blood sugar.” Best explains.
For even more healthy tips, read on: